Johannesburg – Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba broke down on Thursday as he reacted to his son’s arrest during the student protest at Parliament against university fee increases.
“As parents we find it difficult to hold back our tears. This is a hard one… they are kids. We had a wonderful conversation with him and I told him welcome to adulthood, and I have to be strong for him,” Makgoba said as he addressed protesting students at Witwatersrand University (Wits) in Johannesburg.
“I told him be strong, and not forget dad wants you to have a social conscience and equally to pass.”
Makgoba, along with struggle stalwart Reverend Frank Chikane, pledged his support for the nationwide #FeesMustFall protests across the country.
“We pray for all those in courts now and hope as parents that we will find a solution to this. We are anxious, we are pained… and we hope that this doesn’t happen in democratic South Africa again,” said Makgoba.
Chikane’s son Rekgotsofetse (Kgotsi) appeared in court in Cape Town along with other students on Thursday.
“The worry was risk of injuries, but otherwise they made a choice for a principle… this is a principled position and it is not about him (or) an ability to pay, it’s about the rest of people who are poor and have to pay.”
He said he was proud of his son.
“He is an extraordinary young man. I am proud of him. He engages with us in the family.”
At least 29 students were arrested for breaching security at the parliamentary precinct.
ix of them have been dubbed the “Bellville 6”. The group includes Chikane’s son, who studies at the University of Cape Town, Rhodes Must Fall movement leader Chumani Maxwele, and activist organisation Black First Land First’s Lindsay Maasdorp.
The 29 students appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Thursday where they were charged with illegal gathering, trespassing and public violence.
The students were released and warned to appear in court again on February 23, 2016.African News Agency
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